The Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare,” was passed by Congress in 2009. Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether it was a piece of legislation that had, or didn’t have, bi-partisan support. It passed because a majority of the members of Congress voted for it, the President signed it into law and then, the Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutional. It’s the law, now. And while there are some people who don’t like it, particularly health insurance companies and corporate medical care, there are others who do, and who will discover that they benefit from it in some way. It’s the way we do things in our democratic republic.
So the website that was set up to help people obtain personal health insurance did not work well at the start. It was set up by private contractors, and while it should have been inspected, and the administration should have made certain it was working to perfection before it was launched, I think the responsibility for its initial failures should rest with the contractors who built it, and who had a contract with the government under the expectation of doing it right. At any rate, it has nothing to do with the legislation itself. Making a political issue out of it is nothing more than a diversionary tactic.
Perhaps the President should not have been so sweeping and universal in his assurances that “if you like your current insurance policy, you can keep it.” Actually, under the rules of the ACA, that is true. The policies that insurance companies are cancelling don’t comply with the rules, an important qualification that the President mentioned. As it is developing, there are not nearly as many policies being cancelled as early estimates stated, and the President offered to adjust the legislation as a result of the problem, which was also a promise he made when this was originally passed. But essentially those are the things on which the Republicans are resting their campaign against Obamacare, and against the Democrats, and on which they claim they want to “capitalize” from a political perspective.
Alrighty, then. I guess when you are facing a lot of criticism, and you are seeing your poll numbers tank because of the government shutdown, the sequester, and a whole long list of other problems, when the other side makes a couple of mistakes, regardless of the issue, it seems like a point of light in the darkness, or, so to speak. But I don’t think this is a good idea.
I don’t care how you look at it, if your concern is about yourself, and what you can gain by problems that affect your constituents, that’s selfish. Whether we voted for you or not, you are our elected representatives. Shouldn’t you be more interested in resolving a problem that is going to have an effect on us, than you are in trying to use it to get ahead politically? If that’s the message you want to send, then I would suggest just buying advertising time that says, “We’re more interested in our political standing than we are in your health.”
The few Americans who are not concerned about where health care costs and insurance costs are headed are wealthy. The rest of us, from the upper middle class on down, are alarmed and concerned that the cost of both health care and insurance are increasing at a rate that is way ahead of inflation. We are told that increases are required to “cover rising costs,” but when insurance providers report record profits, and you hear about multi-million dollar executive bonuses, you have to wonder what is driving up the cost. And if you do a little digging, you’ll find an awful lot of money that went into political action committees. That money didn’t just materialize, it came from those increases in premiums that you and I are paying, which are supposed to be going to our health care.
If you want a preview of how successful the idea of “capitalizing” on the problems with the ACA will be, examine the gubernatorial election in Virginia this month. The party who holds the White House has not won the off-year Virginia election for more than thirty years, and the Democrats have not swept all three top state offices when they hold the White House since 1963. The Republicans centered their campaign on the problems with the ACA website, the cancellation of insurance policies, and “Obamacare” in general, and several PAC’s spent millions of dollars in insurance and corporate health care contributions to “send a message.” It should have been a slam dunk for the GOP, especially right in the middle of the ACA’s problems, but even in a conservative state like Virginia, the Democrats won, all three posts.
What’s the message in those results? Work together and work for us. This isn’t about you.